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Home Extensions & House Layouts: Getting the Layout Just Right

Last Updated on October 5, 2011

Close your eyes and think of your ideal space, then think about your home and if you have a neglected area or if you and your family need extra space.

Your home should be as individual as you are. For some of us though we may never get the opportunity to plan our own space.

The likelihood of moving into a ready made home where someone else  has designed it is pretty high – not many of us will have the chance to build a new home on our own plot of land, or build a statement or family home.

That said, for those extending the home there are endless possibilities, even for properties that do not currently have lots of space.

The traditional layout of an average two up two down house used to be two reception rooms with a kitchen and a downstairs bathroom, with two or three rooms upstairs. But that traditional way of planning has changed and while people still have to live in average homes, we are all improving them inside and out through original, sometimes quirky, open plan layouts incorporating home extensions, conservatories and basement & loft conversions.

Expanding the home to add more internal space is an exciting way of improving the space in your property. Home extensions may mean that you can change the use of an existing room so that it better serves you or your family. Or, a home extension may simply let you indulge by adding space that you didn’t have such as an extra bathroom, some more bedrooms, a utility room or office.

Whatever your reason for extending, it’s possible to change the layout of your home so that you can add value and improve the way you live.

Changing the Current Layout

Typical homes with lounge diners are common yet all too often they offer a distinct lack of space for a growing family. Dining areas in this type of home often get used as simply corridors and ignored altogether – we often walk past the area to give access to stairs or the kitchen.

A growing family needs more storage space and room to live comfortably. If your home has room to the front or rear, it may be possible to extend and change the way you utilize that space.

It’s amazing what a couple of meters of extended space can offer. A young family may choose to add a useful utility room, a downstairs bathroom and a play room while allowing for a bigger dining table or extending the kitchen into the space for a larger family style kitchen.

In the same way a professional couple may be able to add the bathroom, incorporate a study or office and extend the kitchen into the space – it can all be done because the new extension provides you with the room to do it.

Changing the current layout can allow you to zone off areas or open them up. For example you might extend at the rear and open up your lounge and kitchen so that you can access your garden through bi-folding doors, or you might choose to zone off the dining area and open it into the kitchen which turns it into an entertaining area or a laid back family room.

Adding Value

Not everyone is extending or changing the layout of their home to make money, the chances are you will stay in your newly laid out home for years to come. However, it makes financial sense to create a new look that appeals to buyers should you ever need or wish to sell your home.

Poorly laid out homes can be a turn off to new buyers, a ‘bad feel’ comes from a home that isn’t well laid out.

Whilst it can be expensive to change the layout – moving load bearing walls or stairwells can make a layout change financially unviable.

Adding some real perks to your home (such as french doors/patio doors, en-suite bathrooms and solar heating) not only increase the value of your property, but really ensure your home stands out from others and ensures that you and your family experience a perfect life whilst you reside there.

Here are some things that homeowners do to change the layout of their home:

Change Location of Stairs

For those that follow feng shui, stairs that face the entrance of a home directly is bad for karma.

Old style converted duplexes and even new terraced home often are built in this way.

It may be pricey to move the stairs, but can you extend a porch to the front to give a better feeling of spaciousness, or perhaps you can relocate your entrance.

Merge Long Hallways or Corridors with Rooms

Long corridors with rooms leading off them can often be quite dark and unattractive. Not being able to see one room from another can mean the home feels smaller than it really is.

By changing the location of doors or merging some of the corridor or hallway with the rooms, there is less chance of creating a feeling of claustrophobia and a way to increase the size of the rooms in that area.

Trends are moving all the time and builders today are creating homes with less zoned off living rooms and opting in favour for more open plan areas with less of a need for lots of doors that cut spaces off.

Living areas that are a little more laid back, family rooms and large lounges that open up onto the garden are more desirable these days so developers are changing layouts to suit ever changing tastes.

We created this article to help those looking to extend the home, or even if you are looking at moving into a new home – a new home or adding space to yours may give you the potential to be easily changed to suit your needs.

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